Garmin enjoys a strong reputation when it comes to activity trackers and sports watches. From the Fenix to the Forerunner, there’s a Garmin smartwatch for you. But with a constantly expanding catalog, you may wonder what is the best Garmin watch to buy. The answer to that depends on what you need.
GPS tracking, maps, advanced metrics — these key features vary across the brand’s lineup. Below, we narrow down our picks based on the activities these Garmin wearables track best. And if you’re looking for more details, you can also check previous Garmin reviews.
Best Garmin Watch Comparison Chart
|Garmin Forerunner 245|
|Garmin Venu 2|
|Garmin Vivomove Style|
|Garmin Approach S62|
|Garmin Fenix 6|
|Garmin Fenix 7 Sapphire Solar|
Garmin Forerunner 245
Best Garmin watch for running
Garmin’s Forerunner watches are specially designed for runners, hence the name. But the lineup has seen several iterations over the years. In the series, the Garmin Forerunner 245 offers the perfect balance of design, features, and price.
The mid-range running watch doesn’t veer far away from Garmin’s design language. You’re still getting a round screen, silicone quick-release bands, and a color display. While it’s not touchscreen, it is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass, an upgrade from the chemically-strengthened glass on the budget Garmin 55.
Feature-wise, the Garmin 245 doesn’t track as many metrics as the Garmin 745. For instance, it lacks the ability to monitor your respiration rate. But most runners, including pros, will appreciate how the 245 can crunch important running metrics like cadence, balance, ground contact time, and pace.
The watch also comes with PacePro, a Garmin-exclusive feature that provides GPS-based guidance for a selected course or distance. It brings more pre-loaded running profiles, too.
Unlike its budget siblings, the 245 is smarter. When connected to Bluetooth, the watch can send text responses or reject a phone call via text, although the feature is limited only to Android phones. If you get the Music edition, you’ll even enjoy onboard storage for up to 500 songs.
Dimensions: 42.3 x 42.3 x 12.2mm | Touchscreen: No | Connectivity: Bluetooth, ANT+, Wi-Fi
Battery Life: Up to 7 days | Garmin Pay: No
Garmin Venu 2
Best Garmin watch for fitness
Most Garmin watches cater to a specific niche like running, cycling, and golfing. With the Garmin Venu 2, you have a watch that appeals to a broader demographic. Unlike Garmin’s adventure watches, the Venu 2 sports an understated design.
It still comes with a round case, but the bezels aren’t as brawny as other Garmin wearables. You’re also getting a touchscreen display, which should win over those who want a more “smartwatch” type of navigation.
While it doesn’t have advanced performance metrics, the Venu 2 offers several training tools and health features. These include activity tracking for calories burned, steps, and floors climbed. You also get ample gym and activity profiles, from strength training to yoga.
The Venu 2 even provides animated workouts to guide you. Plus, you get SpO2 monitoring, heart rate tracking, and sleep score and insights.
As a smartwatch, the Venu 2 offers smart notifications, music storage for up to 650 songs, and find my phone or watch functionality. To breeze through check-out lines, the watch has Garmin Pay as well. And to beat out other smartwatches, the Venu 2 boasts up to 10 days of battery life
Dimensions: 40.4 x 40.4 x 12.1mm | Touchscreen: Yes | Connectivity: Bluetooth, ANT+, Wi-Fi
Battery Life: Up to 10 days | Garmin Pay: Yes
Garmin Vivomove Style
Best Garmin watch for women
While smartwatches are becoming staple wear, those who prefer traditional-looking wristwear are put off by all-digital devices. If this is you, consider the Garmin Vivomove Style. Living up to its name, this Garmin sports and fitness tracker combines the aesthetic of an analog watch with an array of smart features.
Through its hybrid design, the dual AMOLED color display is cleverly hidden from view, appearing only when you interact with the wearable. And this interaction is done with touch gestures, a big bonus for a Garmin device. Despite its chic appearance, the Vivomove Style is also a durable unit. It’s water-resistant up to 50 meters and boasts an anodized aluminum construction.
As for fitness, the Vivomove style comes with a modest number of sports and activity profiles. However, the basics are covered, including dedicated modes for running, cycling, and swimming. The Garmin Vivomove Style also boasts health tools like stress and SpO2 monitoring.
Women will particularly be drawn to this model. Aside from its stylish, dress-ready variants, the Vivomove Style has menstrual cycle tracking and Garmin’s Fitness Age feature. Shopaholics will also love the built-in Garmin Pay for hassle-free contactless payments.
Dimensions: 42 x 42 x 11.9mm | Touchscreen: Yes | Connectivity: Bluetooth, ANT+
Battery Life: Up to 7 days | Garmin Pay: Yes
Garmin Approach S62
Best Garmin watch for golf
Smartwatch companies promise wearables that improve your performance in a chosen activity. Nowhere is this truer than with the Garmin Approach S62. The watch successfully balances smartwatch capabilities with an array of golfing features, all in a well-designed and durable unit.
The Approach S62’s design takes into account time spent at a course. It has a roomy 1.3-inch touchscreen display that remains legible under direct sunlight. With a 260 x 260p resolution, the Approach S62 delivers the mapping you need in full color. Users can also quickly start a round of golf, thanks to a dedicated button for golfing features. And the features are plenty.
From shot tracking to yardage, the Approach S62 lets you know how you perform across eighteen holes. Golfers can also input scores to track how many putts are still needed. You can also enter club selections for a more detailed analysis of your swings.
With over 42,000 preloaded courses, Garmin’s golf watch provides pinpoint information, including hazards along the way. A built-in virtual caddie will even recommend a club based on data in your previous rounds. Moreover, information is seamlessly synced to the Garmin golf app.
Dimensions: 47 x 47 x 14.8mm | Touchscreen: Yes | Connectivity: Bluetooth, ANT+
Battery Life: Up to 14 days | Garmin Pay: Yes
Garmin Fenix 6
Best Garmin watch for cycling
If you’re a cyclist, you want a smartwatch with an altimeter, barometer, and compass. The wearable also needs to be durable and have accurate GPS. All these qualities are available on the Garmin Fenix 6. While marketed for outdoor enthusiasts, it’s also our pick for bikers who want to track their performance.
The Garmin Fenix 6 has four cycling profiles, including mountain biking and triathlon. It’s compatible with power meters and Garmin’s Varia accessories for cyclists. Plus, the Fenix 6’s ANT+ connectivity means it works with other devices like heart rate monitor straps.
Serious cyclists will appreciate the performance metrics available on this watch. For instance, you can set trigger alerts once you reach goals like a specific heart rate, distance, or time. If you have Garmin’s Rally or Vector pedals, you can sync advanced cycling dynamics to the Fenix 6 as well.
But as a multisport device, the Fenix 6 watch will also benefit other athletes. The wearable is packed with outdoor recreation profiles, running features, and training tools. You also get health monitoring capabilities — from hydration alerts to energy monitors.
While an older model, the Fenix 6 is far from flimsy. It boasts a stainless steel bezel and Corning Gorilla Glass DX lens. The standard edition is a bit hefty at 80 grams, but the silicone band makes this full-featured watch comfortable to wear.
Dimensions: 47 x 47 x 14.7mm | Touchscreen: No | Connectivity: Bluetooth, ANT+
Battery Life: Up to 48 days (battery saver mode) | Garmin Pay: Yes
Garmin Fenix 7 Sapphire Solar
Best Garmin watch for hiking
For anyone who enjoys hiking, a smartwatch with long battery life is a must. After all, you want a device that can keep up with your outdoor adventures. The Garmin Fenix 7 Sapphire Solar is our pick for this task. In Expedition mode, the watch can last a staggering 40 days. Thanks to its solar charging lens, it can extend its battery life to 74 days.
Built for the wilderness, the Fenix 7 Sapphire Solar is crafted from a titanium bezel and fiber-reinforced polymer case. Like other Fenix 7 models, it’s equipped with a touchscreen display and is water resistant up to 10 meters.
Finding your way in the woods is made possible through GPS, GLONASS, and Galileo global navigation satellite systems. If the terrain is unfamiliar, you can use the preloaded topographical maps to guide your explorations.
The watch also provides hikers info about their elevation, vertical speed, and distance to destination. You can even let family and friends know where you are through Livetrack.
The Fenix 7 is also a fitness and health watch. With it, you can monitor your heart rate, stress level, sleep, and workout performance. When it comes to smart features, the Fenix 7 is just as capable. The watch offers onboard music storage, smart notifications, and Garmin Pay.
Dimensions: 47 x 47 x 14.7mm | Touchscreen: No | Connectivity: Bluetooth, ANT+, Wi-Fi
Battery Life: Up to 173 days (battery saver mode/solar) | Garmin Pay: Yes
Garmin offers some of the best smartwatches for sports, fitness, and outdoor enthusiasts.
Best Garmin watch for most people
Best Garmin watch for multisport use
Garmin has a strong reputation for smartwatches with an excellent build and multisport capability. Its expansive catalog includes wearables specially designed for specific activities, including golf, running, cycling, and outdoor recreation. Given the company’s lineup, you might ask which Garmin watch is best for me. The answer depends on what you need.
However, most people will be satisfied with the Garmin Venu 2. It’s the Garmin watch that best balances smartwatch and fitness features. It also boasts several health monitoring tools to help you understand your body better.
If you have money to splurge and want a full-featured model, opt for the Garmin Fenix 7 Sapphire Solar. Designed with the outdoor enthusiast in mind, this Fenix 7 variant has a weather-resistant design and impressive battery life. Moreover, it supports several activity profiles that fit well in the gear of users who like to cross-train.
Garmin’s Venu 2 has a display resolution of 416 x 416 pixels.
Yes. The Garmin Vivomove Style comes with relaxation reminders and a relaxation breathing timer.
No. Garmin’s Fenix 6 Standard Edition does not use a touchscreen display. Instead, it relies on physical buttons for navigation.
Yes. The Garmin Approach S62 is water-resistant up to 5 meters and comes with a swimming profile.